The well being secretary has been unable to ensure that there can be no additional scandals in maternity care after admitting the NHS is in a “interval of transition”.

Victoria Atkins was talking following the publication of a report by MPs which there was “shockingly poor high quality” in maternity companies, leading to care that lacked compassion and a system the place “poor care is all too steadily tolerated as regular”.

Talking to Sky Information following the report’s publication, Ms Atkins thanked the ladies who had been concerned within the inquiry and stated their tales had been “actually essential”.

“I say that not simply as secretary of state for well being, I say this as a mum.”

The well being secretary, who was appointed to her position final November, stated her personal expertise of getting her child on the NHS included “moments of pleasure” but additionally “some moments which can be very darkish and horrifying”.

She stated she utterly understood why ladies and their households had been “anxious in regards to the report and the findings in it”.

Nevertheless, requested whether or not ought to may assure that there could be no additional scandals in maternity care, Ms Atkins replied: “I am being utterly frank right here, we’re in a interval of transition … we’re already starting to see modifications however in fact I settle for there’s far more work to do.”

Evaluation: Why weren’t alarm bells going off?

Victoria Atkins was not well being secretary when Theo Clark MP first spoke of her delivery trauma in parliament.

However she is eager to emphasize she is listening to the voices of ladies who’ve shared their tales with the nationwide inquiry.

“I say that not simply as Secretary of State for Well being, I say this as a mum.”

In her personal phrases, her childbirth expertise included, “some moments which can be very darkish and horrifying”.

She’s learn the All-Social gathering Parliamentary Inquiry into delivery trauma, and insists issues are altering.

“I don’t fake we’re there but, however we’re genuinely turning a nook,” she advised me.

Yearly eye-watering sums are spent on maternity scientific negligence, together with £1.1bn final 12 months alone.

So why weren’t alarm bells going off? Victoria Atkins says they had been, and factors to latest evaluations of maternity scandals which result in the three-year plan for maternity.

However after I requested whether or not she will assure we received’t see one other maternity scandal, the Well being Secretary admitted, “I am being utterly frank right here, we’re in a interval of transition … we’re already starting to see modifications however in fact I settle for there’s far more work to do.”

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This morning well being minister Maria Caulfield apologised to moms who had been affected, saying: “I recognise that maternity companies haven’t been the place we wish them to be, however there’s plenty of work occurring on this house.

“This has been an issue for a very long time, and it’s why maternity is a precedence space within the ladies’s well being technique.”

However pressed on whether or not she would apologise to the ladies who’ve suffered, Ms Atkins stated the issues highlighted within the report had been “longstanding”.

“What I wish to do is now concentrate on not simply the long run future, however as we speak, as a result of I need mums to be…I need them to trust that we’re seeing enchancment in these companies,” she added.

“I do not fake we’re there but, however we’re genuinely turning a nook.”

Led by Conservative MP Theo Clarke and Labour MP Rosie Duffield, the Start Trauma Inquiry thought of proof given by greater than 1,300 ladies and has known as for a nationwide plan to enhance maternity care.

It discovered that poor high quality postnatal care was an “almost-universal theme”.

“Ladies shared tales of being left in blood-stained sheets or of ringing the bell for assist however nobody coming,” the report stated.

The inquiry made 12 suggestions, together with that the federal government implement a maternity commissioner who would report on to the prime minister.

Some £1.1bn – greater than a 3rd of the NHS’ whole maternity and neonatal funds – was spent on money funds referring to scientific negligence in 2022/23, a Division of Well being and Social Care report confirmed.

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Talking to Sky Information as we speak, Ms Duffield, co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on delivery trauma, stated the UK “completely” wanted to overtake maternity care following the inquiry.

“We actually want any person overseeing the truth that in the meanwhile it’s a postcode lottery,” she stated.

“We’d like somebody to ensure – nearly like an Ofsted inspector however maybe much less scary – to simply oversee the truth that we’re joined up in our strategy to maternity companies and care.

“There’s that, after which we completely have to finish the issue of the maternal well being of black ladies and south Asian ladies, who’re 5 occasions extra prone to die in childbirth.”

Ms Atkins stated she was “decided to focus relentlessly on enhancing the care for ladies throughout England” and that she had “prioritised” ladies’s well being, maternity companies and delivery trauma since taking on her Cupboard put up.

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Requested why “alarm bells” had not been ringing through the Conservatives’ 14 years in energy, Ms Atkins stated there had been consciousness of points, citing evaluations into maternity care at Nottingham College Hospitals NHS Belief and Morecambe Bay NHS Belief.

“We’re in an attention-grabbing place as a result of, for the primary time within the NHS’s historical past, you haven’t only a secretary of state for well being who’s a mum, but additionally the chief government of NHS England is a mum as nicely – Amanda Pritchard,” she stated.

“We’re working collectively to attempt to handle a few of these points that we all know have arisen in recent times.”


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